Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) and Eva Prinz’s new label, The Daydream Library Series, presents its premiere release:
Big Joanie Sistahs
On sale: November 30, 2018
Video for first single, “Fall Asleep”: HERE
Pre-Order vinyl LP: https://cargorecordsdirect.co.uk/products/big-joanie-sistahs
Pitchfork: “The first single from Sistahs, ‘Fall Asleep,’ is a woven rock tapestry of affirmational lyrics, girl-group claps, and deep, slashing guitars.”
The Fader: Big Joanie’s “Fall Asleep” is #1 of “The 20 best rock songs right now”: HERE
Eva Prinz and Thurston Moore’s newly-launched The Daydream Library Series presents their first full-length release, exclusively on 12-inch vinyl: the much-anticipated album from London-based DIY feminist punk band Big Joanie, titled, Sistahs.
Big Joanie are Stephanie Phillips (singer/guitarist), Estella Adeyeri (bass) and Chardine Taylor-Stone (drums). The band formed in 2013, releasing their first EP, Sistah Punk in 2014, and the single “Crooked Room” in 2016.
Sistahs is an optimistic album about friendship, melancholic memories, and the belief in a modern future. Eva Prinz & Thurston Moore discovered Big Joanie when they played live, supporting The Ex in London, in the spring of 2018. The two ran to Big Joanie’s merch table only to discover that the band that had just mesmerized the audience didn’t have a record with all the songs they had played. Now Eva, Thurston, and colleague Abby Banks, will be releasing Big Joanie’s first full-length album via The Daydream Library Series, the new record label under Eva and Thurston’s international art book publishing house, Ecstatic Peace Library. Says Eva, “We are all ecstatic ‘Sistahs’ will be the first official release on our new baby label.”
Inspired by The Ronettes, Nirvana, Breeders and Jesus and Mary Chain, Big Joanie have described themselves as being “Similar to The Ronettes filtered through ’80s DIY, and Riot Grrrl, with a sprinkling of dashikis.”
As part of London’s thriving DIY punk scene Big Joanie have played with locals Shopping; toured with US punks Downtown Boys; and Dutch Punk band The Ex; and performed at the first UK Afropunk festival.
Big Joanie recorded Sistahs over several sessions from November 2017 to January 2018 at Hermitage Works Studio with producer Margo Broom.
The album title derives from the band’s belief in sisterhood and female friendship. One of their main reasons for coming together was to create an atmosphere to be “completely ourselves as black women and discover what was possible to realise in those spaces.” The album cover features Steph’s mother Joan, whom the band is named after, and her aunt on vacation in Wales.
Outside of the band all three members are involved in communitarian activities: running the Decolonise Fest for punks of colour, volunteering at Girls Rock Camp, and leading the Stop Rainbow Racism campaign, which works to stop racist performances in LGBTQ venues.
Sistahs — Track Listing:
- New Year
- Fall Asleep
- Used To Be Friends
- Way Out
- Down Down
- Tell A Lie
- It’s You
- How Could You Love Me
- Cut Your Hair
Track synopsis by Steph:
“I started with one line: ‘It’s a new year and I’m still here,’ found in my notes. I knew I wanted the album to open with this track as it has such an intense buildup and it’s the only song on the album that’s absolutely positive. Our producer, Margo, wanted us to add a guitar solo in but since I’m a guitarist that can never think of guitar solos on the spot Estella stepped in and played the dreamy solo on there now.”
“This song doesn’t have much of a meaning beyond the fact that I like sleep and I like to write songs about sleeping. We were thinking about Joy Division and the film 24 Hour Party People a lot in the studio so Margo added a wall of synths and drum beats. It sounds so much bigger than the song we wrote. We’re really proud of this one.”
Used to be Friends
“This is a kind of a matter of fact song that’s about a friendship that went sour. I don’t actually hate the person and never did, so to me the lyrics are quite tongue in cheek and funny. Nevertheless I still love how it’s become a cutesy diss track.”
“This is one of the first songs I wrote at age 19. It was the first time I felt like something I wrote was worth listening to. I think I wrote the second part of the song while I was working a part time job handing out over-priced artisan bread at Waitrose. I was staring at the clock hoping my shift would end soon, hence the time references. I was listening to a lot of Throwing Muses and PJ Harvey, which informed the song’s three part structure. The drum part was inspired by an American field recording from the south of a drummer calling the neighbourhood to a gathering.”
“This was my attempt to write something in the vein of Dinosaur Jr. or Sonic Youth. Without trying, the end result turned out super-grungy.”
“This is a pretty simple song that’s our take on surf punk. The focus on the drums makes this song so much bigger than I thought it could be.”
Tell a Lie
“I always feel like I can’t get away with lying or somehow karma will come back at me if I don’t tell the truth so I thought I’d write about my weird anxiety. I love Estella’s bass solo in the middle. I feel like we’re channeling a little bit of Shopping’s post-punk vibe on this one.”
“This was originally called ‘All of My Friends’ but we thought it would be weird to have two songs with friends in the title on one album. The song is about middle class white people that only hang out with middle class white people whom all do the same drugs, like the same things, and come from the same place. Then when they meet one black person they like, they pretend that person is different / special to other black people and tokenise them. It’s a situation that’s happened to most black people but I don’t think white people realise it happens.”
“I wrote this years ago. I played it with my first band, My Therapist Says Hot Damn, when our main singer left the band and we had three days to write new songs to play at our next gig. I brought this to Big Joanie a few years later and now it’s one of my favourite songs to play live.”
How Could You Love Me
“Although every song I write is essentially trying to channel ‘60s girl group style, this song is the most obvious. I love the over the top Shangri La-esque spoken word vocals and the repetitive hook.”
Cut Your Hair
“I think of all the songs on the album this is the one I’m most proud of. It’s quite personal and is basically about predicting a relationship is over before you or your partner are willing to admit it. I also knew I really wanted the album to close with this as I think it’s such a sweet, vulnerable note to end on. When we went back to the studio for the second session, Margo’s friend Seth added the wurlitzer, which comes in halfway through the song and really lifts it.”